A day after meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, U.S. President Donald Trump took to Twitter to suggest her country owes “NATO & the United States” big bucks for the “defense it provides to Germany.”
A day earlier, as the two spoke to the media following their meeting, Trump also attempted to push his German counterpart to spend more on NATO.
“I reiterated to Chancellor Merkel my strong support for NATO as well as the need for our NATO allies to pay their fair share for the cost of defense. Many nations owe vast sums of money from past years, and it is very unfair to the United States. These nations must pay what they owe.”
Trump has been issuing calls for months for other countries to start “paying their fair share.”
After Trump’s tweets on Saturday morning, a man who is very familiar with the inner workings of NATO took to Twitter in an attempt to explain to Trump that Germany and other countries are paying their fair share.
“Sorry, Mr. President, that’s not how NATO works,” wrote Ivo Daalder, who was U.S. Permanent Representative on the Council of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization from 2009 to 2013. “The US decides for itself how much it contributes to defending NATO.”
“This is not a financial transaction, where NATO countries pay the US to defend them. It is part of our treaty commitment.”
Daalder went on to explain that all of the 28 countries in NATO have committed to spending 2 % of their GDP on defense by 2024, “But no funds will be paid to the US. They are meant to increase NATO’s overall defense capabilities, given the growing Russian threat.”